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Yr 7 DS and Minecraft computer game after school

(63 Posts)
mintchocchick Thu 04-Oct-12 22:07:20

I'm getting a bit concerned that my DS seems to spend all his free time after (and before) school on Minecraft. He doesn't have THAT much free time to be fair but it's the fact that he's lost interest in all the other 'switch off' things he used to do, like reading, drawing detailed pictures of helicopters etc, playing outside with his younger brother and Lego.

Is this typical of a secondary school child?

I can't decide whether i should let him get on with it and relax in whatever way he chooses to or limit him to just a few times a week, so he doesn't stop reading etc. He is totally non communicative when he's playing, with ear phones in and can be pretty grumpy when told to stop. That bothers me as much as the time actually.

Niceweather Fri 05-Oct-12 06:19:14

All sounds very familiar! My son somehow hooks up with his mates on Skype and they all play together so it then becomes more of a social event. It's quite amusing to hear them all shouting at each other. He's definitely banned from going on it before school though.

happyoverhere Fri 05-Oct-12 07:22:08

MCC have you hacked my account, I could have written your post! I have been worried too so we have started "no mc until you have done your homework" and then setting a limit on it too. Evil mummy here!!

WofflingOn Fri 05-Oct-12 07:27:30

Minecraft is a very absorbing game, both mine play it extensively.
DS has a time limit, no more than a couple of hours a day. He is older than your DS and accepts the need for a balance.

SoupDragon Fri 05-Oct-12 07:59:46

Bloody Minecraft.... At the weekend I had DS2 (11) and two of his friends on Kinect in my playroom. I could hear "X! Why have you stolen all my torches! Give me my stuff back!" it was constant.

SLightly better than Halo where they kept dying (yes, I know it's a 15)

lljkk Fri 05-Oct-12 08:08:34

I am the strict one.
yr8 DS gets 5 hours/week of Minecraft all of it after school because his weekends are so busy & other DC only get their computer time on weekends (also limited, all this is term time only, different setup in holidays).
yr8DS is getting an iPad soon, though, he'll have close to unlimited access to Minecraft on that as long as it causes no problems. I expect him to start using 90% of our Bandwidth <<Shudder>>

I am planning to shut off WiFi access for DS iPad at 8:30pm every night, not back on until next day afternoon (still figuring out how to do that without shutting down WiFi for everyone).

When "playing" Minecraft DS spends part time running server, part time playing, part-time researching Minecraft news & tricks, part-time chatting with friends on the server, part-time skyping with friends about how funny it all is, it's not just "playing" Minecraft. It's got at least 4 channels to it. And all this is before he gets a FB account.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 08:15:43

My 13 yr old [yr 8] likes playing minecraft, Once homework is done I dont mind.

like reading, drawing detailed pictures of helicopters etc, playing outside with his younger brother and Lego

With the exception of reading I think its fine and indicative of his growing up to stop doing those other things.

Niceweather Fri 05-Oct-12 08:19:18

Common link here.... all Yr7 and Yr8 boys!

SoupDragon Fri 05-Oct-12 08:19:56

DS1 as well - just gone into Y9 grin

Bunbaker Fri 05-Oct-12 08:21:18

DD (12) likes Minecraft as well. We don't have an X Box so she has the PC version which keeps crashing. She hasn't played it for ages though.

ineedamiracle Fri 05-Oct-12 08:26:15

A couple of nights ago, yr8 DS shouting very loudly into his headset - "Sean!! You need to get some sheeeeeeeep!"

It would be quite entertaining if Minecraft hadn't stolen both of my children sad

tiggytape Fri 05-Oct-12 08:54:02

My DS (Year 7) loves it.
It has been the major bonding topic of conversation for new Year 7's at his new school. They're too shy to speak to each other until they realise one of them knows the secret of milking cows or where to mine for diamonds and all of a a sudden they're best of friends and chatting away. In that respect, it has been pretty good.

We don't have it on before school but I too suffer evenings full of angst about torches and lava pits and pigs falling down holes!

reshetima Fri 05-Oct-12 10:13:22

Similar experience here with DS (year 9). I do agree with it being quite sociable - he has set up a private server and is playing with three friends with Skype for verbal contact.

We too have imposed rules about no gaming after school during the week (Friday's ok if not too much homework) and only after lunch on weekends with an hour on/hour off rule so he has a break. We try and stick to a no computing after 8pm on weekends, but the nagging abilities of DS are second to none!

It is an immersive game, so the grumpiness and lack of communication are an issue with us too, but DS is pretty good at reverting to his normal reasonable self once he joins reality again.

ArbitraryUsername Fri 05-Oct-12 10:27:05

Ds1 (y8) is not allowed to play videogames before school, and he has to do his homework after school before he can turn the Xbox on. His dad lives 2.5 hours away and they chat to each other over Xbox live (his dad works odd hours at home, so he's usually available in the afternoon for video gaming), so DS is even more keen to get on there. If his dad isn't available, he talks to his friends so it's still quite social.

He's less interested in stuff like building Lego than he used to be, but he still reads loads so I'm not worried. He always reads before bed, as I think that's much more conducive to sleeping well than videogames. He still likes playing outside on the trampoline or his bike, and gets plenty of outdoor activities through scouts. He's also developed new interests through clubs at school. He's been going to drama club and chess club. He isn't a particularly talented actor, but he enjoys it, and he's gotten very good at chess to the point where he can now beat his dad and grandparents.

Because of all this, I don't worry about the videogaming too much. He also, voluntarily, turns of his videogames when his 3 year old brother comes in from nursery and chooses to play with him instead. I think he secretly enjoys getting the chance to play with playmobil without looking babyish!

mintchocchick Fri 05-Oct-12 12:49:45

Yes I get it. He's growing up and this is all part of it. Sometimes it's hard to let them go though...I am delighted to have moved on from some younger boy stages, like the bed wetting and night terrors! But not all things are that easy to say goodbye to, I used to love wet Sunday's with me and DH reading the papers and him and his younger brother with big trays of Lego up at the table creating fabulous space machines!

It's new and I haven't got my head round rules - hence the early playing before I got up a couple of times last week. So just a matter of putting some boundaries in place - all very familiar parenting tasks!

You're absolutely right about what a great way to make friends it has been. DS2 has bonded with other MC kids at school and I mustn't forget it's benefits for boys who might otherwise get a bit lost in the massive new environment of secondary. Thanks for the support!

Kez100 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:43:28

I don't have rules as such except:

All homework takes priority. Clubs take priority. 15 mins music practice a day. Washing up needs to be done and meals eaten at the table. No playing before school. Everything electrical goes off by 9 and 10 at weekends. Minecraft and other such games seem to fit into every spare ounce of space between that lot!

TalkinPeace2 Fri 05-Oct-12 17:12:29

another one with a year 8 DS who would sit on Minecraft chatting to his friends ALL weekend (as the F1 is not live) if I gave him the chance

acebaby Fri 05-Oct-12 18:01:06

Oh gosh - my 7yo (year 3!) and all his friends are obsessed with this game. DH has set up the computer to restrict him to two one hour computer sessions a week (after he once played for three hours!). He is not allowed on the internet multiplayer game - so it is just him and DH.

So now he and his friends play minecraft, without the computer (involves strutting around in a slightly robotic way and teleporting to each others' 'houses'). This is marginally better than computerless angry birds, which involves running into each other at high speed.

Couchsweetpotato Fri 05-Oct-12 18:13:51

DS (10) is also obsessed with Minecraft and Skype. The whole thing is like an addiction. He spent our whole summer holiday jonesing for it! We are pretty strict on time spent on it, because it turns him into a surly and grumpy little shit.

noblegiraffe Sat 06-Oct-12 12:26:49

Please please make sure his time on it is limited and he gets to bed at a reasonable hour! I'm a teacher and the number of kids who come to school completely shattered because they've been up late playing computer games is shocking. They need time to wind down after playing them before they can go to sleep too.

TalkinPeace2 Sat 06-Oct-12 13:36:06

Our xbox is in the family room.
No electronics / TVs etc in bedrooms.
On school nights I try to make sure the phones are on charge in the kitchen too.

there are LOTS of links to academic results v sleep patterns : you could set some of your classes a homework project to find them and get their parents to read them.

AmberLeaf Sat 06-Oct-12 14:04:49

Yes everything is downstairs here too, so no late night gaming.

Madmog Sat 06-Oct-12 14:53:30

I know Minecraft is popular with boys, but has it got worse since he started Y7? All my daughter wants to do as soon as she gets in is read a book/look at an encyclopeada which sounds great but homework wasn't getting done. She seems to have the message now that she needs to do about about an hour a night and a couple at weekends. They've had a lot of adjustment to cope with over the last month and I think it's my daughter's way of switching off. It might be worth inviting his friends around a bit more, even if they want to go on Minecraft at least they will be interacting with eachother.

TalkinPeace2 Sat 06-Oct-12 16:48:04

Xbox live minecraft they play against / with each other - DS was building something with four friends (each at their own homes) the other night.
Wittering away as he does, but we did not have to listen as his friends were wittering too.

Waswondering Sat 06-Oct-12 16:51:34

Another mc obsessed ds (9) here ....

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